Red Deerians may be seeing new tickets in the mail after the new Intersection Speed Cameras comes into full effect tomorrow.
The program has been through two warning phases and officials will begin issuing real tickets. The cameras work similar to photo radar in that if a driver is caught speeding through an intersection, whether it is red, amber, or green, they could see a ticket infraction in their mail.
Paul Goranson, director of protective services for the City of Red Deer, said there has been misinformation regarding the operations of this new system.
“One of the things that a lot of people misunderstand is that it is actually not a speed-on-green,” he said. “If you are going through these intersections and are speeding, you could potentially get a ticket. It is not speed on green only. It is speed on any of the other cycle.”
Goranson said the lights are being installed at 10 intersections throughout the City that have proven to have a high level of collisions. The locations can be found on the City of Red Deer web site.
The project, according to Goranson, has been a successful deterrent to dangerous driving in other municipalities.
“This is a technology that has been around for a number of years and a number of municipalities have been using it already,” he said. “It is similar to photo radar. It utilizes the camera to measure the speed of traffic as it is going through the intersection. If you are going through above the speed limit, it will record that and take a picture of your license plate. If it meets certain conditions, you will get a ticket in the mail.”
The warning periods were intended to educate the public, according to Goranson.
“We had cameras activated but we weren’t actually sending out tickets; we were sending out warnings,” he said. “The second warning period sent out essentially what you will get after November 1st. It said the cost of what the ticket would have been but it was just a warning.”
Fines levied on the new lights will be similar to photo radar tickets and will depend on how fast the vehicle went through the intersection.
“We have tried to have an open and honest engagement period. The warnings have been part of the driver education component,” he said.
Goranson said the City expects an adjustment period to take place.
“What other municipalities have seen is that there is an adaptation period as far as the number of violations and the tickets issues,” he said. “Overtime, it does drop down.”
He added the principle behind ticketing is to influence behaviour.
“That is why they are used for enforcement,” he said.
Goranson said it is unclear at this time what information the City will make available following the roll out of the program in terms of speeding numbers and fines collected.